Currently in Britain there is attempted ‘Crash’ revisionism. You’ll see and hear people state ‘Its the profligate Labour government’s fault, not the banks. The Tories are just trying to fix it.”
We’ve had 30 years of Thatcherite politics: Blair gave up the left to get elected, continued privatisation of public services, and tried to continue a ‘thin air’ economy – who does manufacturing anymore? (Er.. Germany)
Like the US we lost large lumps of production overseas. It turns out that 50% of the population will always be below average academically (who’d have guessed eh?) There are no longer the non-academic industry jobs for people to go into, and they can’t all stack shelves. Both Tory and Labour governments for the last 30 years have allowed foreign businesses to buy up our companies, then are surprised when production is take out of the UK.
It turns out that thin air economy was stuffed full of gamblers and people trying to make as much money as quickly as possible, and hang the risks.
The claim that Brown was profligate is twisting the truth, as Richard Murphy shows here:
Note that Major spent more in 1990-97 than Labour 1997-2007. Look where the Labour spending falls off the cliff – at the point the banks needed to be propped up. £500 bn of money and guarentees has been pumped into the banks. For comparison the amount collected by HM Revenue and Customs in 2006-07 was £426bn
So now the Tories are making deep cuts against normal economic logic. Debt is 55% of GDP (it was 46% before the bail out), less than under Major. There were no howls back then. The way recessions have been beaten in the past is to spend on infrastructure – making sure businesses want to locate, and ensuring those here can compete. Why isn’t Cameron making the UK a world leader in sustainable energy production, rather than rely on the foreign companies that Thatcher sold our infrastructure too?
The Right are quick to scream about Benefit cheats. Tax evasion, avoidance and fraud costs the treasury SEVENTEEN times what benefit fraud does. Literally tens of millions of pounds go uncollected and uninvestigated every year. Why? Between 2004 and 2010 Labour cut 25,000 jobs at HM Revenue and Customs, down to 75,000. Cameron is committed to further ‘Efficiency savings’ taking it down to 60,000.
In Tottenham there are 50 unemployed for every job vacancy. We have a generation that has no investment in society. House prices are pushed out of sight of first time buyers, inflation is at 5%, while wages are flat, the government gives money to the rich, while making cuts to services for the general population. The rioters have no social contract with the wider populance.
Now I don’t believe that the kids have turned around and said “We must show our displeasure at the failure to tackle tax havens”. But when they see people looting, they do not see a reason not to join in – its ‘a bit of a laugh’, and they might get a £100 pair of trainers out of it. They don’t see a down side- why does a 17 year old care if florist loses her business when he has no future himself: teenagers are incredibly short sighted at times.
The failure to provide a future has broken the link between individual and society.